Many modern offices rely on a broad range of software for day-to-day operations. You’ll likely use diverse solutions for accounting, in-office communication, and more. As such, the more complex your business, the greater the chance it’ll rely on multiple software options.
If the software happens to be premium—which is often the case—this means you need to deal with licenses. Software license tracking solutions provide you with the tools you need to ensure they’re all up-to-date.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the reasons why your business needs license management software. Then we’ll introduce you to our top five picks for software license tracking solutions.
Why You Need Software License Management Software
The primary goal of a software license management solution is in its name. It’s a type of service designed to help you keep track of the third-party software you use. However, its functionality goes well beyond this in most cases. Here are some of the features the top software license tracking solutions often include:
- License expiration notifications
- Support for multiple types of licenses, including free software, premium options, trials, and more
- Information about which software versions you’re using and update availability
- Storage for software documentation and agreements
In a nutshell, license management software helps you ensure all the licenses you use are up-to-date, and it helps you make sure you’re in compliance with any requirements they have. This type of service is also critical from a security standpoint, as it lets you know when you’re using outdated software.
5 Top Software License Tracking Solutions
There are many software license tracking solutions to choose from, but the five options below offer some of the best features on the market. Let’s talk about what each of them offers in no particular order.
Spiceworks is a self-hosted service enabling you to scan all the devices on your company’s network to create a comprehensive list of the software used. It’s capable of identifying software versions and whether those programs have available patches or updates you need to install.
Beyond identifying software, Spiceworks can also help you keep track of individual licenses. The service notifies you if you’re in breach of compliance for specific software and lets you know how many active installations you have. If needed, you can also use Spiceworks to generate IT infrastructure reports with full lists of service providers and vendors.
Price: Spiceworks offers its IT software solutions for free.
ManageEngine AssetExplorer is a cloud-based solution for IT asset management with tools to help you keep track of the licenses your business uses. AssetExplorer can scan your network to identify software and hardware assets, and the service constantly monitors for new additions.
With AssetExplorer, you don’t need to worry about breaches in compliance, as the platform helps you manage the number of users for each license versus its usage requirements. You can also use AssetExplorer to prevent your employees from installing and running software you don’t want on company devices.
One of the primary advantages of using ManageEngine is the platform helps you identify opportunities to cut costs when it comes to licenses. With its tools, you can find out which software you don’t use and redundancies you can eliminate.
Price: You can get a custom quote depending on your company’s needs, but there’s a 30-day free trial available.
ServiceNow Software Asset Management gives you the ability to scan your network to discover and compile information about all the software you and your employees use. The platform provides you with an overview of costs and license compliance.
If you ever want to switch some of the licenses you use, ServiceNow includes a cost projection tool to help you run the numbers before making changes. Beyond this, the software also helps you detect vulnerabilities through assessments, which include reports on outdated software, available updates, and more.
Price: ServiceNow offers custom plans for its IT asset management suite of tools depending on your business needs.
Freshworks Freshservice is an all-in-one solution for hardware and software asset management. The service provides you with a full inventory of assets within your network, and you can schedule scans in advance to ensure this list is always up-to-date.
With Freshservice, you get full insight into your software stack. This includes active licenses, software versions, available updates, maintenance requirements, compliance, and more. You can also use the software to help you plan license acquisitions, renewals, and cancellations.
Price: The full suite of Freshworks Freshservice IT asset management tools is available with its Estate plan and upwards, starting at $79 per agent per month.
As its name implies, SolarWinds® Service Desk is primarily a support services platform. However, it also includes software license management capabilities. Among these is the ability to scan your network to identify the software your employees use as well as available licenses.
Beyond identifying licenses, Service Desk can also detect gaps in compliance and help you reallocate licenses among users. The platform can alert you before licenses expire and when contract terms change, so you’re never caught off guard.
Service Desk is also designed to notify you when your software requires updates, so your users always have access to the latest tools and your business doesn’t become open to vulnerabilities.
Price: The full set of SolarWinds Service Desk software license tracking features is available with its Professional plan and upwards. The Professional plan starts at $69 per agent per month.
Software license management solutions usually offer a lot more features than just tracking. With the right service, you can ensure all your software is up-to-date and make sure you don’t incur any redundant costs. Some platforms even enable you to block dangerous software options, so you can keep your company’s data secure.
Here are our top five picks for software license tracking solutions in no particular order:
- Spiceworks: A free option for companies on a budget
- ManageEngine AssetExplorer: Prices vary depending on your company’s needs
- ServiceNow Software Asset Management: Custom plans are available depending on your business requirements
- Freshworks Freshservice: The Estate plan starts at $79 per agent per month
- SolarWinds Service Desk: The Professional plan starts at $69 per agent per month
* As of August 25, 2020. All pricing is in USD.